NOVEMBER 9, 1940
NEW YORK, Friday—Yesterday saw the beginning of the White House social life for me. The Minister from Costa Rica and his wife came to call for the first time. An interpreter came from the State Department, because I am a little hesitant about my Spanish and they are a little hesitant about their English!
The Minister from Thailand and his wife came later, and I was interested to find that their excellent English was acquired in one case by going to school in England, and in the other by attending an American Missionary School. They told me their two little boys are going to the Friends School in Washington, and while they had learned a little English before coming to this country, they were finding a little difficulty in their American school.
These diplomatic children have to make adjustments to so many different countries and so many different languages that I often marvel at their adaptability. When it is done successfully, however, it gives them a great advantage over a child whose knowledge is limited to one country and one language.
Four more young people came to tea, and in the evening the President and I received some of the people who had worked in the Women's Division of the Democratic National Committee in Washington. After that we saw some newsreels which gave excerpts from various campaign speeches, and now I hope I have seen and heard the last of the campaign. There is work to be done for everyone and I hope that we will all settle down to do it.
Miss Thompson and I took the plane to New York City this morning. Mr. Walter O'Keefe drove in from the airport with us to tell me about a plan which he wants to carry out, and I was especially impressed by one thing he said: "I have always wanted to do something significant for which I received no remuneration. I think this plan will accomplish something really worthwhile, so I am prepared to give my services." It is interesting that nearly all of us have that desire when we are conscious of ability to contribute something of value to our neighbors and friends, and the opportunity offers itself.
I managed to sandwich in a little Christmas shopping before going to lunch at the Rockefeller Lunch Club to present to Miss Jacqueline Cochran the Harmon trophy, which she has won for the third time. She is such an attractive person and so young that it is hard to realize how many experiences she has had in the air, and it is fascinating to hear her talk about it. It must take coolness, judgment, and great courage to fly as she does in these races, and her accomplishments are something of which every woman should be particularly proud.